Sun Stories: Eileen – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

Eileen started tonight. She’s 18 and beautiful. You’ve been reading phicklephilly, I have to get to that.

She arrives and is wearing a grey shirt and tights. All of the girls wear that now. I have no idea why. It’s too revealing of their curves.

Imagination is the king of fantasy.

I have three sisters and a daughter that lives with me. Our salon is built on respect to women and that’s maybe one of the reasons they choose us. We’re all about respect. (Well that, and the best pricing and the best equipment in the city!)

It’s Thursday. I miss Amelia who is awesome. I love having her here to help me navigate the nights here at the salon. But tonight I get to meet my hire.

Eileen arrives. She is wearing a grey shirt and black tights. She looks fine to work here. It’s sporty and conservative. She’s fine.

When it’s super busy in here she’ll probably go with a tank top and shorts but I digress. (Kidding!)

Eileen is my hire. I chose her. I knew she was amazing from the start.

Eileen is beautiful. She’s studying criminal law at Drexel and is a freshman.

No worries. I’m training her and she’s following me around like a pup and cleaning beds.

Just so you all know. I’ve had many opportunities to exploit my underlings but I never did that. I learned that from my father, Because he ALWAYS did that. And my daughter Lorelei and I are too BARR, (My mother’s side of the family) to pull that shit)

Eileen is doing a great job. I adore her.

I’ve killed myself for so long over so many shifts. I’m just happy to have the help. I have Cherie. I’m not going to try to tap Eileen. She’s like a daughter or a niece for god’s sakes.

“My patents split up when I was 3.”

“Me too. Lorelei was three and a half.”

“I have a half-brother. He’s nine and looks just like me.”

Shows me pics and that kid looks a lot like her.

Cute kid.

I show her pics of my daughter.

I love being around lovely Eileen.

New people intrigue me and we need help. She’s so pretty. I love that I always liked that. I love the sound of her voice. So sweet and like a song. I’m happy she made the call to join our team.

Last year it was Summer and me. I love Summer. So efficient and cunning. I love her as friend and a co-worker. I miss her so much. (See: Sun Stories: Summer – Night Shift Girl)

“I had a sister who died when I was 9.”

“Oh my god. What happened?”

“She was born with a heart murmur. She had so many operations. It was so sad. She died after five weeks.”

“I’m so sorry. What a horrible way to come into the world if even for a brief time.”

“Yea. It was really sad. My mom still wears a little pendant with her name on it.”

We turn the conversation to happier thoughts.

The night passes and I’m training her on cleaning the beds, when and how to do the laundry, vacuuming the salon and folding the towels.

Eileen is a quick learn. I even notice she’s watching the computer screen intently while waiting to go clean the beds. That’s what we hired these girls for. Clean beds while I manage the salon, sales and the clients.

But while Eileen is standing there with her spray gun and towels, I notice her eyes are on every transaction I’m doing. She’s very visual and smart. She’s learning the system even on her first night wiping down beds.

She’s my hire. I chose her the minute I met her. She’s extraordinary. I can see she’s working out. An 18 year old teenager raised in the digital age. Her brain is wired to learn looking at a computer screen.

Me, the old horse, grew up in an age when there were no computers. Only books. I learn slowly. These kids today are like lightning. Say what you want about millenials. You just don’t understand them. You brought them into this world, but their learning abilities are beyond anything you know.

Sure they have no game, and no sense of direction, or spacial awareness. They are slaves to their phones, but they learn the software of anything faster than any of us born even 30 years ago because of technology.

Achilles always complained about his staff. They were a bunch of young girls he was paying $9 an hour. Of course she has the flu the day after St Patrick’s Day. They all would call out sick and were never reliable.

This crap went on for 10 years! He had three salons and he closed two of them because it was, “same headache, times 3” he said.

I get it. It’s hard to find good staff in the retail and hospitality industry industry. I never knew this because I worked in corporate america in banking and advertising my whole life. But for $9 an hour you’re going to get a lot of bubble head kids. It’s just the nature of the business.

But then he got me.

Everything changed.

He finally had an anchor. An older mature man that would give you the $80K employee experience for coolie wages. (As my mother would say)

I know he appreciated it and couldn’t believe his good fortune, but always treated me like any other employee. I get that. That’s all I wanted. I wanted to work. I realized after being in the rat race for my whole life that it was all folly.

The suit and ties. The houses, the cars, the marriage, the children, the stuff.

So much stuff.

I was living the life I thought I should be living to fit into some American dream.

It’s all bullshit.

All of it.

Lies.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to work hard and make money and move up and build a life for yourself.

You make more money, and become an executive and get a good pretty wife and a house and a mortgage, but is that what you really want?

We all follow the same path our parents did. Just that. But does it work for all of us?

Not so much. But we get caught up in it because that’s what we’re taught. We’re children and we are told by our elders that it’s the key to a happy and secure life.

Bullshit.

Work hard. Eat shit sandwiches in a job you hate, sacrifice your happiness, and make a bunch of money and secure a bunch of STUFF.

Stuff and possessions is you filling your empty heart with a temporary hamburger.

You’re full for three hours and then you are you again.

I never want to go back to that. I’ve had all of that and none of it means anything.

I hated all of it. I now want for nothing.

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

I live a simple life now and my daughter Lorelei lives with me since she was 18 years old.

The universe has somehow righted itself.

I’ve worked at this salon for 2 years and now we have this fitness center and it’s starting to take off. But I’m no longer harnessed to the bridle of corporate america. My best friend of 20 years is owned by Wells Fargo and he’s rich, but his life sucks royal Canadian moose cock everyday. I love him, but his wife is gone. He has no kids, and he’s left in a pool of mediocrity with his fifty something Asian girlfriend. He’ll never marry again because he feels like a failure and it’ll just be him at the end of the day with a pile of money and his rhumetoid arthritis.

I smoke and drink and work all of the time. I love my life. Everyday I’m looking forward to doing something and seeing a friend or lover.

I can’t believe my good fortune.

But then I pause and think, I built that.

We can look back on our lives and see it as a bunch of crazy events and stories, but if you really look at it, it’s a lovely novel woven by you.

 

Eileen finishes vacuuming and folding towels.

She’s had a great first day and I’m proud of her. I knew she’d be wonderful.

I’m on my feet everyday and active. I’m interacting with our clients and selling my ass off. I’m training this lovely girl, and she is laughing at my jokes.

How bad is my life?

We lock up and I show this raven haired beauty how sometimes the lock box can be a bit temperamental.

The lights are out so I use my flashlight app to guide her downstairs.

We say goodbye. I tell her that she’s done a good job on her first day.

She gives me that firm handshake that I loved upon our first meeting.

Off she goes.

“See tomorrow, Charles!”

 

I finally hired a winner.

 

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Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author: phicklephilly

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